Is the Cancellation of "The Interview" a Cowardly Act?

Sony Pictures has cancelled the Christmas Day release of the action-comedy film "The Interview" amid terrorist threats that may or may not be linked to North Korea.

I've got bad news for the three of you who pre-ordered your opening night tickets to The Interview: It's time to find new Christmas plans. Sony Pictures has decided to nix the December 25 release of the new Seth Rogen-James Franco action-comedy. There are currently no plans to bring the film to theaters or DVD.

The unprecedented decision comes in the wake of terrorist threats made by hackers who may or may not be linked to North Korea. These same hackers have been creating havoc for Sony for three weeks by leaking troves of sensitive and embarrassing materials. These leaks, which included personal e-mails and social security numbers, have led to a class action lawsuit filed by former and current employees.

That's already a huge headache on its own. Then, yesterday, when several major American theater chains decided to cancel showings of the controversial new film, it was only a matter of time until Sony pulled the plug completely. 

The Week's Scott Meslow calls the film's cancellation "some cowardly, precedent-setting bullshit." Chicago Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper explains that today is "a sad day for Hollywood." Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing argues that the decision is a defeat for free speech.

Social media seems to be divided on the issue. Many folks want Sony to release the film via an on-demand platform. Supporters of the first amendment want to support The Interview if if they don't see it as the sort of movie they'd typically enjoy. Others appear to hold the opinion that Rogen and Franco are not a hill want to die on.

What's your take? Is this a cowardly act of capitulation or a prudent decision to keep moviegoers safe? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo credit: Antony McAulay / Shutterstock

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